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I notice on the online sites, the German A5 material tops cost about $200 more than other fabrics. Can anyone make recommendations based on experience? Seems like a considerable difference in cost. Have to replace mine in the next month or two. Thanks, Bill
 

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Hi, I've been looking for a new top also. I'm shopping on topsonline.com. They say their Stayfast cloth tops will fit and last as well as the German A5 Sonnenland cloth, the only difference is the weave look.

So I don't have experience yet, but I asked for prices directly from an upholstery shop, and the Rollins tops are more than twice the price from a shop as they are online. I was told installation on my 2003 will be between $400-$500.

What other websites have you shopped on?
C
 

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Discussion Starter #3
new top

That's the only site I've looked at. My car is a 2006 2.5L I bought used. Car runs like a dream, but the top looks 'rode hard, put up wet! small wear holes, frayed edge on top, top of window separated. I put some iron-on patches on the holes.....couldn't stand looking at them! I plan on doing the job myself when I get home......Snowbirding.
 

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That's brave of you to do the install yourself. According to the guy that quoted me $400, it's an all day job IF they don't run into problems. And he's been doing it for 35 years.
I have pretty much the same problems you do, edge frayed when the driver's side window wasn't dropping properly, wear holes, and the window glue failing. I sealed it up with FlexShot, but I'm afraid if I try to put the top down, the window might fall out. What's the point of having a 'vert if you can't use the top?
On a different subject, do you live in Tennessee? Have you heard about our Return to Roswell event this year, in New Mexico? It's at the end of June, and we have folks coming from Florida to follow Rte 66 from Chicago, to Roswell, then onward to Santa Monica. I'll be carabugging from So Cal, and there's a friend coming from Oregon as well. We have about 20 cars now, and want lots more...join us!
 

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Bill, I install convertible tops for a living and recently installed a German A5 cloth top.

The biggest difference is that the A5 top is more like the OEM top in regard to the sound deadening properties that it possesses. If you liked the original top because of this reason, you should definetly spring the extra $ for the A5.

As far as appearance goes, stayfast is close enough looking, lasts a reasonable length of time and of course is cheaper.

Make sure that you go with a brand of top that has a lifetime warranty on the bond at the back window. Then if you still have the car 8-10 years out, you won't need to worry about if your back window will ever come delaminated from the topping. The top manufacturer will warrantee the top and you get a new one.

By the way, $400-$500 is dirt cheap for an installation of this type.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sound deadening!

That, I think, would make the extra price worth it. A factor I never considered. The relative quietness of the car amazed my wife and I. Considering we had a Chevy Tracker with soft top, it was most uncomfortable trying to carry on a conversation. Thanks for that piece of information! Bill
 

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Interesting information on the sound deadening issue. Never considered that either.
I am getting my new top installed on Tuesday. I purchased the Robbins power top in Stayfast black. My baby's body creaks and groans so much anyway I might not notice a difference in noise damping!
I meant the car of course, although I'm a little creaky myself!
I also had a Chevy Tracker with soft top back in the 90's.
Carolyn
 

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Interested as well

Glad this is a popular topic. I'd be interested in all of your opinions about manufacturer and installation. My rear glass has separated and material is creasing after years of up and down cycles.
 

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My new top was installed 2 1/2 months ago, very pleased with it. The original headliner was used, and popped out of the frame around the window across the bottom and on the passenger side about 2 weeks ago. This is a problem even with the original tops.
I took her back to my installer and he fixed it for no charge.
Otherwise I am very pleased with this new top, works beautifully and looks so much better than the faded, creased, nearly windowless 12 year old original.
 

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My new top was installed 2 1/2 months ago, very pleased with it. The original headliner was used, and popped out of the frame around the window across the bottom and on the passenger side about 2 weeks ago. This is a problem even with the original tops.
I took her back to my installer and he fixed it for no charge.
Otherwise I am very pleased with this new top, works beautifully and looks so much better than the faded, creased, nearly windowless 12 year old original.
As far as the headliner coming loose from the top around the rear window, this is a VERY common problem. VW had a TSB and suggested buying some special clips to secure the headliner.

But what I did was to actually cut the plastic ring in the headliner and this allowed me to properly seat the ring around the rear window. If this is not done, the headliner WILL come loose again.

See this thread - http://newbeetle.org/forums/new-beetle-convertible/61280

Since I did this to my car, the headliner has not come loose again.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Putting on your own top.......or not!

I'm almost finished with putting a new top on my '06. It has been the 'Project from Hell'! First, we ordered the top through one of the online places.....up in small Northeastern state. A week or so went by and we get a call saying the color and fabric was no longer available. Another week or two goes by and my checks on the order and find that 'they' had it marked as a Power top. Mine is a Manual top. Hopefully that has been straightened out. More time goes by, another call, only to find out now, the Manufacturer really isn't! It's being made by a company in California. About a month goes by, and we finally get the top. Looks Good! I've taken the old top off by now. Should be easy........well, it ain't, and I've done almost every mechanical thing a man can do! Oh yea, and removing the rear window seals on each side.......came out in pieces. That was $250 from the dealer! I only took them out because of that Moronic Youtube video by Bentley Publishing. On the plus side, the top cost $800 + $250 for seals, the local price for an installed top was $2600. Would I do it again, no.......hell no. If you are a true masochist, go for it. I haven't even addressed the 50 places one can go wrong. If a guy would do one for $500, buy him steak and the best wine.
 

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Tops aren't fun

I'm almost finished with putting a new top on my '06. It has been the 'Project from Hell'! First, we ordered the top through one of the online places.....up in small Northeastern state. A week or so went by and we get a call saying the color and fabric was no longer available. Another week or two goes by and my checks on the order and find that 'they' had it marked as a Power top. Mine is a Manual top. Hopefully that has been straightened out. More time goes by, another call, only to find out now, the Manufacturer really isn't! It's being made by a company in California. About a month goes by, and we finally get the top. Looks Good! I've taken the old top off by now. Should be easy........well, it ain't, and I've done almost every mechanical thing a man can do! Oh yea, and removing the rear window seals on each side.......came out in pieces. That was $250 from the dealer! I only took them out because of that Moronic Youtube video by Bentley Publishing. On the plus side, the top cost $800 + $250 for seals, the local price for an installed top was $2600. Would I do it again, no.......hell no. If you are a true masochist, go for it. I haven't even addressed the 50 places one can go wrong. If a guy would do one for $500, buy him steak and the best wine.
Sorry you went through all of that trouble. The manufacturer is probably in Oxnard, where my installer picked mine up. While it wasn't cheap, it was less than $2,600, and the turn around was 24 hours. Glad I didn't attempt it as the installer said there was dirt EVERYWHERE. Lots of road grime as my top was down more often than not.
 

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Bill, I install convertible tops for a living and recently installed a German A5 cloth top.

The biggest difference is that the A5 top is more like the OEM top in regard to the sound deadening properties that it possesses. If you liked the original top because of this reason, you should definetly spring the extra $ for the A5.

As far as appearance goes, stayfast is close enough looking, lasts a reasonable length of time and of course is cheaper.

Make sure that you go with a brand of top that has a lifetime warranty on the bond at the back window. Then if you still have the car 8-10 years out, you won't need to worry about if your back window will ever come delaminated from the topping. The top manufacturer will warrantee the top and you get a new one.

By the way, $400-$500 is dirt cheap for an installation of this type.
I have a 2003 convertible beetle that needs a new top , may I ask where you are located ? I am in SE Michigan . Would so appreciate some help . Regards Fiona
 

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Fiona,
I'd love to be in SE Michigan right now to get out of this Central Florida heat.
Most Auto Upholstery shops are open right now as they're considered essential (car repair). They are usually the only type of place where you can get a top serviced. In fact, we typically get convertible top work sub-contracted to us from the dealerships who will sometimes try to sell you a top from the parts department for $ 3000.
Hope you can find someone to help you.
Lyle.
 

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I notice on the online sites, the German A5 material tops cost about $200 more than other fabrics. Can anyone make recommendations based on experience? Seems like a considerable difference in cost. Have to replace mine in the next month or two. Thanks, Bill
My top cover seemed to have this greasy black goo on it that I could not clean off. I trashed it and bought one off ebay for $100. Excellent investment, it fit perfect. I saw another one on ebay yesterday for $50.
 

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Don't mean to revive an old thread but I just picked up an 07 NBC beige exterior with the dark tan top. It's torn so I ordered and just received a new black top from EZ-ON. It just arrived yesterday in the box and I'm a bit disappointed that it didn't come with anything else besides the actual top. No zipper staples, no rivets, no bolts to use in place of the drilled out rivets, no instructions, nothing. Luckily I already have everything I need to do the replacement but I was assuming they would throw in the extra hardware to make the installation a bit easier for novices doing it in their garage. FWIW - I don't know if other manufacturers of tops include those extra's but I can assure you that EZ-ON does not. I do like their warranty though.
 

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My top cover seemed to have this greasy black goo on it that I could not clean off. I trashed it and bought one off ebay for $100. Excellent investment, it fit perfect. I saw another one on ebay yesterday for $50.
What's the brand or name of the ebay seller?
 
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